Who you know can make your career

There’s big problem with networking. Many people have a negative perception of networking and the majority of people generally hate having to do it.

There are certain stereotypes associated with networking, people often think of sleazy, inauthentic people throwing business cards at each other left right and centre and constantly looking for somebody more interesting to engage in conversation with.

Yet, most people will openly admit that networking, faults included is critically important to your career.

What people and organisations do not realise is that, as a person’s career moves forward and progresses, the technical skills that they needed to get a job initially will become less important while the relationships cultivated throughout their career become more so.

The fact of the matter is that life is all about connections. One introduction to the right person or one conversation has the potential to drastically change your life. Believe it or not, but these conversations don’t just happen while you’re at home or sitting at your desk, they occur when you go make them happen.

The thing is, as professionals we can generate a certain amount of luck for ourselves by going to certain events and almost being at the right place by the right time.

Network Your Way To Success

We live in a world that is rapidly changing, where technology and communications are disrupting every customer – facing business, where success in the past is no guarantee of success in the future and where the strategies that got us to where are today will not necessarily get us to our destination.

In this period of high flux, we need to network our way to success. We need to keep in mind that we live in a very competitive world where life is commonly referred to as a “game of inches”, your own personal network mean the difference between success and failure.

 

However, in order to develop a more diverse and robust network it will require changing your attitude to focus on relationships rather than transactions, altering your behaviour and learning some new skills. It will also mean, you will need to become more comfortable talking to strangers.

The main objective is to build diversity in your personal network and develop a broad range of weak connection, however painful you may find it at first. Research shows that weak connections can be more helpful than strong relationships particularly when you are looking for your next job.

60% of success is who you know

Harvey J. Coleman, author and businessman, developed an interesting theory around career progression. He claims that how well you do your job contributes only 10% to your career growth.

Yes, we know that sounds absolutely insane – You would think, surely how well you do your job must account for 80-90% of career progress, right? Coleman explains that strong performance is mandatory, but everyone is pretty good.

Your ability to perform gets you on the career ladder but it doesn’t get your up the ladder. You get paid on performance, but you get promoted on what other people think of your potential.

Coleman believes that 30% of career progression depends on your reputation defined as what people say about when you are not present in the room. The last 60% depends on exposure – in other words, who has seen you in action. It makes sense – the future leader of your organisation or company will not be unknown people.

Building a strong and diverse network is critical for your personal and professional life, and following a precise process of research, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship is necessary to allow you to survive and thrive in a fast-moving, interconnected and interdependent world.

Coleman believes that 30% of career progression depends on your reputation defined as what people say about you when you are not in the room. That last 60% depends on exposure – who has seen you in action. It makes sense – future leadership of your company will not be unknown people.

Building a diverse and robust network is critical for your personal and professional life, and following a precise process of research, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship is necessary to allow you to survive and thrive in a fast-moving, interconnected and interdependent world.

There is a price to be paid for being an average networker. Networking is not about any one thing but many small efforts which, when implemented daily, become habits and then they are rituals.

What seems, at first, like picking up grains of sand soon becomes a bucketful and will have a significant impact on how your life unfolds.

Source: Fora / Kingsley Aikins

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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